Dell released the new Streak Smartphone/tablet on Friday 4th June. This is a short review on how this mobile phone (of sorts) works for business mobile phone users and whether it can really be a challenge to the i-phone 4G.
To begin with the Dell Streak is exclusively available on O2 and through the Carphone Warehouse so not a lot of choice for a start, however, this is normal with all big releases nowadays. The 5-inch tablet cum phone has garnered a fair bit of attention since it was first presented earlier this year and Dell are pushing it as a mix of the two and are clearly positioning it against the i-pad.
The Streak will be free on a £25 a month contract with mobile broadband and free on a £35 a month contract with voice and (unlimited) data. Alternatively, on PAYG it will set you back £399.
The first thing that you will notice about the Dell Streak is that it is massive, at least in mobile phone terms, It is around 10mm thick, and is 80 x 150mm (5 inches across) in size with a 16:9 WVGA 800 x 480 screen.
When talking on the phone it felt a bit like we were back in the 80’s, although it is a lot thinner than the phones in that period it was nonetheless a brick – so a good thing that it comes with a bluetooth headset.
If you are someone that keeps your mobile in your pocket with your keys and change then this may not the phone for you, you can get it in your pocket but it is constantly noticable there so not really a realistic place to keep it. However, it is small enough to fit in a suit or jacket pocket and offers a considerably larger screen than other Smartphones.
Dell has moved away from Windows with the Streak, it runs Android 1.6. Although Dell says that later in the year there’ll be an Android 2.2 update with Adobe Flash Player 10.1. Of course the Streak is open to all of the apps of the Android market with plenty of business apps now available including video chat applications and other software innovations.
There are the three traditional Android buttons on the side of the screen – back, menu and home. A great plus for business mobile phone users is the front-facing camera for video conferencing. When you go into the camera to take an image, you can use the menu button to flip between the front and back cameras.
The large screen is great for business users who travel a lot as it will do a fantastic job as a sat nav and there’s full compatibility with Google Maps Navigation and the Android Market.
The phone feels very solid and built to last, and the screen display is really tough and will easily withstand a drop. The glass is Gorilla Glass – an extremely robust thin sheet glass.
There is a 5Mp camera on the phone as well as a good quality speaker, I used it to watch some music videos and found that it did a great job on both the picture and the sound quality.
The Dell Streak will be available only in Matt black at first but will then be followed in other colours in the near future.
Browsing on the Streak was, like most Android phones a great experience, you can switch to any orientation you like quite easily by simply rolling the phone round, the phone comes with Twitter and Facebook apps pre-loaded so if you want to keep us with your social life during the working week then you will have no issues here.
The Streak runs a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. There’s also 256MB of memory and up to 2GB of storage – not incredible but it does the job unless you need to carry a large number of media files with you at all times.
For browsing and email etc, there’s Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth as well as a dock connector on the base. There is a stand available with HDMI out for HDTV.
The top of the phone has a headphone jack, volume up and down controls, a screen on/off control and the camera button.
Overall the Dell Streak is a really interesting phone and one that should make it’s mark because of it’s currently unique size. Although we are a little concerned about the price point.